Safe Kids Worldwide®, Halloween night is statistically the worst year for fatal
pedestrian accidents involving young children. Based on data the group has gathered, Halloween
night sees 200% the amount of child traffic-related deaths than the average
day. Each year, trick-or-treaters fill the sidewalks and sometimes the
streets, putting themselves in serious danger. Motorists need to be extremely
careful whenever driving through an area that might have trick-or-treaters nearby.
Of course, trick-or-treating safety precautions around motorists go both
ways. Parents and children need to be mindful of pedestrian safety on
Halloween, too. In this blog entry, we share some basic traffic safety
tips for trick-or-treaters and motorists.
Be Safe When Trick-or-Treating
Are you going to take your children around the block to trick-or-treat
this year? Before you go, review this safety checklist to make certain
everyone in your group is ready to be as safe as can be when vehicles
Safety tips for trick-or-treating pedestrians:
Make yourself visible: Trick-or-treating foot traffic tends to be greatest around twilight as
the sun is setting. This time of day creates a spooky atmosphere without
being the middle of the night and completely dark. However, visibility
is still an issue as the setting sun casts long shadows. As a trick-or-treater
or a parent escorting a young child, you need to increase your visibility
by wearing bright colors and reflective tape. Children who do not want
to disrupt their costume appearances by adding tape or neon colors should
carry a glowstick and/or flashlight at all times.
Stay on dedicated paths: Pedestrian accidents on Halloween are most likely to happen whenever a
trick-or-treater enters the road without warning. To greatly reduce your
chances of being in a serious accident, you should always stay on dedicated
pedestrian pathways, such as sidewalks and crosswalks when you need to
cross the street. Some children who get scared of spooky decorations may
want to run away from it without realizing they have entered the road
and put themselves in danger. Talk to your children before you go trick-or-treating
to tell them that they must not enter the road without your permission
for any reason.
Watch for cars in driveways: Do not forget that vehicles are not only going to be driving down the road
on Halloween night. You will inevitably come across someone trying to
enter or exit their driveway while the sidewalks are crowded with trick-or-treaters.
Whenever you approach a driveway or parking spot, take a second to verify
that there are no cars approaching. Make eye contact with any drivers
who are using a driveway and wait for them to acknowledge you before continuing.
Be Safe When Driving
Halloween night is also a busy time for people celebrating the holiday
in other ways, like going to haunted mazes, seeing a scary movie, or attending
parties. It is not uncommon for traffic in suburbs and cities to increase
noticeably. If you are going to drive around for whatever reason on Halloween,
then you need to be mindful of trick-or-treaters wherever you go.
Four driving safety tips for motorists on Halloween night:
Drive slower than usual: You should slow down whenever you are driving anywhere that might have
trick-or-treating children around. You never know when a young child might
dash into the street. If you cannot avoid an accident, you can at least
minimize the harm done by traveling slowly. For example, if your housing
complex or block has a speed limit of 20 miles per hour, then it will
not hurt to go 15 mph instead. Or, if you can see plenty of kids nearby,
consider traveling as slow as 10 mph.
Watch out when cars are parked along the street: You need to always be on the lookout for trick-or-treaters when driving
on Halloween night. But you should be especially vigilant whenever the
street is lined with vehicles. Children will be difficult to see among
the cars and shadows. If they try to cross away from a crosswalk by walking
between parked cars, you might have only a second or so to hit the brakes.
Don’t forget to use your headlights while you are driving, starting
30 minutes before sundown.
Stay focused and do not use your smartphone: You should never use your phone when you are driving on any day of the
year. This dangerous behavior becomes even
worse if you distract yourself with texts, videos, or GPS directions on Halloween
night. As mentioned, every second counts when it comes to avoiding an
accident with a trick-or-treater who wanders into the road.
Postpone optional trips: When in doubt, stay home and do not drive on Halloween night. If you were
planning optional trips, like a jaunt to the market for some shopping,
you should postpone them to another night when there is bound to be less
pedestrian and road traffic. In doing so, you will also reduce your chances
of getting into a crash caused by an intoxicated partygoer.
From everyone at Gruenberg Kelly Della on Long Island, we wish you and
your children a fun and safe Halloween. Prioritize safety, and you will
surely have a great night to remember.